Three candidates vie for two seats in New Berlin

The New Berlin Village Board adopted its 2010 budget last week, calling for a double-digit tax increase right before local elections with three people seeking two open trustee seats, including a former mayor.

The adopted $752,137 budget is $71,870 larger than last year’s $680,267. It calls for a a $1.12 jump from last year’s per $1,000 tax rate of $11 in 2009 to $12.12 in 2010, an increase of 10.18 percent.

The general fund, which includes highway costs, went from $473,369 in 2009 to $524,687. The Emergency Medical Service Fund, which covers the cost of operating an ambulance service for the Town of New Berlin, Columbus and the village, decreased from $99,172 in 2009 to $98,750 in 2010. The amount is later divided among the three municipalities which burden nearly equal shares of the cost, explained Village Clerk Diann Davisson.

The village’s water fund increased from $107,726 in 2009 to an expected $128,700 in 2010.

The village also saw a decrease in the amount of taxable property assets in 2010, going from the previous year’s of $27,939,820 to $27,819,967 – a projected loss of $119,000.

The village collected $307,254 in taxes in 2009 and is looking to take in $337,242 in 2010.

The increases in the budget and the loss of tax base has spurred a former mayor to seek one of the open trustee seats.

Voting will be held on Tuesday between noon and 9 p.m. at the village office at 13 S. Main St.

“When I was on the board before, I ran the village like I run my home. Prioritize things – you can’t do everything at once. Our tax base is shrinking and we can’t afford to over spend,” said former Mayor Carol Riley, who added that she believed her board did exactly that in 2009.

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